The impetus for Communism, as explained by Rod Stewart

Some guys have all the luck
Some guys have all the pain
Some guys get all the breaks
Some guys do nothing but complain

Alone in a crowd on a bus after work
and I’m dreaming
The guy next to me has a girl in his arms
My arms are empty
How does it feel when the girl next to you
says she loves you
It seem so unfair when there’s love everywhere
but there’s none for me

Some guys have all the luck
Some guys have all the pain
Some guys get all the breaks
Some guys do nothing but complain

Someone to take on a walk by the lake
Lord let it be me
Someone who’s shy
Someone who’ll cry at sad movies
I know I would die if I ever found out
she was fooling me
You’re just a dream and as real as it seems
I ain’t that lucky

Some guys have all the luck
Some guys have all the pain
Some guys get all the breaks
Some guys do nothing but complain

All of my friends have a ring on their finger
They have someone
Someone to care for them it ain’t fair
I got no one
The car overheated
I called up and pleaded
There’s help on the way
I called you collect you didn’t accept
You had nothing to say

Some guys have all the luck
Some guys have all the pain
Some guys get all the breaks
Some guys do nothing but complain

But if you were here with me
I’d feel so happy I could cry
You are so dear to me
I just can’t let you say goodbye

Robert Stacey Stacy McCain has a couple of articles up concerning Communism:

How Much Do You Hate Commies?
Posted on | February 6, 2014 | 125 Comments

Salon.com’s Jesse Myerson (@JAMyerson) says “misconceptions” about Communism are the real problem, although survivors who escaped Communist regimes might beg to disagree.

Personally, I think the main problem with Communism is that we haven’t shot enough evil lying Commie scum:

Five years after the Bolshevik Revolution, Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises predicted that the Soviet project was doomed to fail. In his classic work Socialism, Mises explained that the attempt to replace the market system with central economic planning could not succeed, because the planners could not possibly have the information necessary to make all the decisions which, in a market economy, are made by individuals whose needs and desires are reflected in prices: “The problem of economic calculation is the fundamental problem of Socialism.”
“Everything brought forward in favour of Socialism during the last hundred years,” Mises wrote in 1922, “in thousands of writings and speeches, all the blood which has been spilt by the supporters of Socialism, cannot make Socialism workable. ….

Socialist writers may continue to publish books about the decay of Capitalism and the coming of the socialist millennium; they may paint the evils of Capitalism in lurid colours and contrast with them an enticing picture of the blessings of a socialist society; their writings may continue to impress the thoughtless — but all this cannot alter the fate of the socialist idea.”

More at the link. Mr Myerson took exception to Mr McCain’s article, through Twitter, which generated this second article from Mr McCain, in which he said, in part:

Jesse Myerson is not interested in the facts of history or economics that would contradict his communist enthusiasms. Myerson is merely striking the pose of a radical intellectual, expecting admiration and applause from those who share his socialist sympathies. No doubt he hopes these gestures will enable him to obtain TV appearances, book contracts and speaking invitations. His purported “idealism” is thus motivated by selfish ambition: The narcissist’s desire to be seen as praiseworthy, and to acquire an easy income by advocating ideas popular with the Left.

More at the original.

Mr Myerson is one of the more fortunate of the “millennials,” one who actually got a job, but it seems to me that the more important article from him is not the one advocating Communism, but a slightly earlier one:

It’s a new year, but one thing hasn’t changed: The economy still blows. Five years after Wall Street crashed, America’s banker-gamblers have only gotten richer, while huge swaths of the country are still drowning in personal debt, tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed – and the new jobs being created are largely low-wage, sub-contracted, part-time grunt work.

Millennials have been especially hard-hit by the downturn, which is probably why so many people in this generation (like myself) regard capitalism with a that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. But that egalitarian impulse isn’t often accompanied by concrete proposals about how to get out of this catastrophe. Here are a few things we might want to start fighting for, pronto, if we want to grow old in a just, fair society, rather than the economic hellhole our parents have handed us.

Mr Myerson’s five “solutions”:

  1. Guaranteed work for everybody;
  2. Social Security for all, meaning some form of a guaranteed annual income;
  3. Take back the land, in which he rails against landlords;
  4. Make everything owned by everybody; and
  5. A public bank in every state, an odd suggestion if everything is to already be owned by everybody.

Mr Myerson’s real complaint? That some guys have all the luck, that some guys get all the breaks. In the meantime, he does nothing but complain.

And complaining about the guys who have all the luck is the entire impetus behind socialism, behind Communism, behind the silly “Occupy Wall Street” movement of which he was a part, and, really, in today’s America, behind liberalism in general.

Well, maybe I could combitch a bit, too. In 2014, Cole Hamels will be paid $22,500,000 by the Philadelphia Phillies, and that’s a whole lot more than I will make. But Mr Hamels can put a four-seam fastball and a cutter over the plate, and I can’t. Mr Hamels has a lot more athletic ability than I ever had, which means that, in Rod Stewart’s terms, he had all the luck, but he also worked hard on developing the talent that God gave him.

The fact that our friends on the left have never been able to accept — though so many of them take full advantage of it in their own lives — is that, despite Thomas Jefferson’s famous words, we are not all created equal. Some people are bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, better looking, have nicer voices, whatever, than other people, and that will always be the case. And the government cannot make people equal.

The esteemed Mr McCain has been taking Mr Myerson to task through several articles on his site:

In them, Mr McCain, who will never use four words when seventeen would serve just as well,1 goes through the history of Communism, and says that, regardless of what the theorists of Communism may have said about it, the reality was vastly different, horribly different. To his credit, Mr Myerson concedes that point:

But continues:

  That is, essentially, what Karl Marx predicted, that capitalism would eventually be able to provide so much, through industrialization and increases in productivity, that there would be plenty, enough for all of the proletariat to share, eliminating the need for the capitalists, and enabling all of the workers to get all of the rewards for their production. But that gets us to a couple other tweets from Mr Myerson:

and

 

And this is where my argument differs from Mr McCain’s.  He spends agood amount of time and effort noting the economic failures of Communism, as it was imposed by the very hard men who used it to gain political power. But, to me, the problems with Comunism, as a theory, stem not from economics or history, but from a deep failure to understand human nature.

I’ve been in construction, in one form or another, for my entire professional life, and I’m trying to figure out just where we are going to find all of the men who drive the “honey trucks” to clean out portable toilets on construction sites, if work is no longer necessary to survive?

The very simple fact is that we are nowhere close to the society and economy which Mr Myerson envisions. One of his demands, now, is that there should be a universal basic income, in which the government would just add a sum sufficient for subsistence to everyone’s bank account every month, along with a guaranteed job for everybody. Of course, he has said that this should be just a very basic income, enough on which to survive, but barely, but that if subsistence satisfies these (non) workers, that’s fine.

And here is where he demonstrates his lack of understanding of human nature:

 

Despite “welfare people” having it real hard, some of them, many of them, have chosen to accept the Faustian bargain of welfare: that we will give them money not to work, just as long as they are willing to live in poverty.

In the end, Mr Myerson suffers from the same problem as the highly educated, full of noble intentions, good people who created our welfare system: he is not only intelligent and educated, but he is hard-working himself,2 and the notion that there are people who are simply not as intelligent and not as hard-working is simply outside his paradigm. The people who originated our welfare program, the same type as Mr Myerson, never really grasped that there would be people who wouldn’t view welfare as a temporary hand up, until they could get a decent job and proudly work for their living; we have now had fifty years of President Johnson’s “Great Society” to prove just how wrong that was. When that “guaranteed job” he envisions the state providing turns out to be driving the honey truck, or shingling roofs in July, or digging footings, it just might turn out that a whole lot of people with those universal basic incomes would rather sit at home suffering through having only basic cable.

I have watched plenty of Star Trek in my time, and by the time we got to The Next Generation, we were told that the time of plenty existed on earth, that everyone was materially satisfied. They also told us that we would have warp-driven starships which could take us to new planets with new civilizations, and that all men would be brothers, and the like.3 And perhaps those days will come, three hundred years from now when Gene Roddenberry told us they would, but we are living now, today, in this world, and those things have not arrived, and are not close. When Mr Myerson tells us that “smart good robots (will be) freeing everyone from work!” he has failed to realize just how much time it will take to get from today to the future he envisions.

Who knows? Perhaps one day we will have all of the material wealth we could ever want, all provided for virtually nothing, with completely pollution-free sources of energy, and maybe, just maybe, the kind of socialism/Communism Mr Myerson sees could actually work. And perhaps we will have warp-drive starships, and alliances with the Vulcans and Andorans. Regrettably, Mr Myerson’s visions are just as much science fiction as Star Trek.
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  1. A failing your Editor has as well.
  2. Or so I judge by the sheer volume of his writing and the dogged determination he has put into defending his positions.
  3. Perhaps we can ignore the grittier, not so wealthy societies depicted in Deep Space Nine.

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